Raising the bar

Familiar faces from Wellington North and Minto joined our reporting team this past week.

Kris Svela from Mount Forest has been freelancing with us for a few months. He will be assuming the county council beat and Wellington North council. Patrick Raftis of Harriston will be our reporter in Minto as well as Mapleton.

Like many firms that find themselves in a hiring mode, particularly after a retirement, we were a bit concerned about what kind of candidates we might find. Luckily, there were dozens of applicants, and after a thorough interview process, we came up with two solid, experienced people that will be valuable additions to our team. That they both live here and have deep roots in local communities was a benefit. That they both have decades of experience in the News business was a real bonus.

Over the coming months we will be adding to our reportage of local News. Readers are invited to contact our News team with tips and story ideas.

In addition to these hirings, Chris Daponte has been promoted to the position of editor, overseeing all Newsroom functions. Letters to the editor, assignments and story ideas will flow through Chris, helping our publication ensure engaging stories of interest to our readers. I am hopeful that a heightened sense of organization and a dedicated editor will help us raise the bar once more in service to our readers.

As of this publication date, I will be moving to the position of publisher. This probably more accurately reflects the job description that I have been engaged in more recently. Much of my time has been focused on building the business side of our operation and laying ground work for future products and services we offer clients.

Every industry has its quirky insider joke that may not make sense to others. For the Newspaper business we share the one of a publisher with Thomson Newspapers, who joked that News is what fits around the ads. While revenue is a critical element to any business, the balancing act for a successful publisher is giving enough News to readers to encourage readership while also having enough revenue to actually print and distribute the Newspaper. Every business has its challenges and we are intent on meeting our challenges to ensure a great Newspaper for all in our coverage area.

It’s also important that we point out another notation on our masthead this week, as all great ideas or businesses have a starting point.

In 1968 this Newspaper began with a fairly simple mission. It would be delivered free to all residents and offer a cost effective advertising alternative for businesses in Wellington County. At the time it was enough of a radical concept to cause an ad manager from Guelph to send his salespeople out into the countryside to find out what it was about. The next step was to sell hard against this startup and put it out of business, as they had done with other startups in Guelph. After a month, the salesperson assigned key accounts out here reported back to headquarters that the Advertiser was here to stay. As of this week, we recognize our founder within our masthead, William H. Adsett, for having the vision and gumption to start a business that will have a lasting impact on this county, not to mention the Newspaper industry.

There will be changes ahead as the Newspaper industry grapples with a continued period of change. For us we are still committed to publishing – in print and on-line – a quality Newspaper that keeps people connected county-wide.

We are raising the bar once again  … stay tuned.